Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hands On Organic Garden Workshops

We began on Friday morning. Pat's living room was full of like minded people from all kinds of situations, from home gardeners with city or suburban lots to some with actual farms. Beginner gardeners, experienced, and everything in between. A couple gals from the USDA even, and a few people who want to start businesses of their own.
It looks like a great start to me, I'm looking forward to March when we get our hands in the potting soil!

Here are the particulars from Pat's e-mail. She may have room left in the Saturday class. Look back in my blog for location and contact info.

Learn As You Grow
At Wetham Organic Farm
A Practical Experience in Organic Gardening
Continuing Hands-On Workshops
Throughout the Growing Season
Focusing on Annual Vegetables

Session #: Topics
1. What is Organic? The Philosophy and practice of growing in a healthy, environmentally responsible way. The importance of good soil. Planned biodiversity in and around the garden. Choosing seeds, finding organic seeds, selecting varieties, planning for seed-starting. (February)

2. Appropriate Tools for organic gardening - supplies and tools for seed starting (transplants), soil mixes for transplants, soil blocks, timing for transplants - when to start seeds for early crops or warm season crops. (March)

3. Soil tests, composts and manure, minerals for fertility - beyond NPK, planning and laying out your garden for yearly rotations, transplanting - from seed flat to pack or pot. (Early April)

4. Applying minerals and compost, working the ground - machine or hand, the benefits of raised beds, early outdoor transplanting and direct seeding - cool season crops. (Late April)

5. Starting vining crops, beginning weed and insect control, putting in warm season transplants, thinning early crops for best production ( May)

6. Succession planting for continuing harvests, mulching, pruning and training tomatoes, planning space for fall crops, disease control in vine crops (early June)

7. Care and harvesting for continued production of summer veggies, how to know when it’s done producing, summer cover crops, starting transplants for the fall garden (late June)

8. Direct seeding fall crops, composting, understanding late season production (July)

9. Managing late crops for harvest throughout the fall. (August)

10. What worked this year and what didn’t - beginning the plans for next year by refining design and rotation as well as crops and varieties end of the season chores, using leaves in the garden, winter cover crops. (September)

Friday Sessions: Feb.22, March21, April 11, April 25, May 16, June 6, June 27, July 18, Aug. 15, September 19. Saturday Sessions: Feb 16, March 15, April 12, April 26, May 17, June 7, June 28, July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 20.

I'm sure my piping on about local educational opportunties is getting a tad tedious to some readers, but I do have a few more to post, and then I take another turn on this path. After all, learning in the winter is my way of maintaining contact with 'the green fuse'* here in the frozen north. (I'll have to post that poem soon...)

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